The experts explain how to budget your beauty buys

To build the ideal make-up collection, you need to be in equal parts Scrooge and a spendthrift. Sometimes a product, even with its rare ingredients and handcrafted packaging, is not worth the high price tag. With others, if you compromise on the formula, you run the risk of ruining your skin. Make-up artists Clint Fernandes and Pakkhi Pahuja break down what you should you save on and what should you shell out a little cash for.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Save: Concealer

“Don’t spend a bomb on a concealer,” advise both Fernandes and Pahuja. In fact, if you have invested wisely in a foundation and a primer, you can live without a concealer altogether. The Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Concealer (Rs 660) though, offers great coverage and is a steal.

Splurge: Primer

“The Prestige Primed & Ready Face Primer is embedded with moisturisers, pore-minimizing silicon fillers and SPF, amongst other things. It is like an all rounder, which even renders BB and CC creams quite pointless. It corrects complexion, re-texturises the skin and is loaded with skin care benefits as well,” explains Fernandes.

Save: Blush

“Look for the right shade but don’t invest heavily in this product,” suggests Pahuja. Lakme’s Absolute Face Stylist Blush Duos in Coral has a warm hue that livens Indian skin tones. You could even just skip buying a blush altogether if you like. “A lip colour in the shade that complements your complexion can double up as a blush. Smile, dot the apple of your cheeks, and blend,” suggests Fernandes.

Splurge: Bronzer

Since it is a wonder product that can chisel your facial features, you don’t want to go wrong with this. “Personally, I will never compromise on bronzer as an average bronzer can make the skin look uneven and blotchy,” says Pahuja. Givenchy’s Terre Exotique Healthy Glow Powder delivers on high quality colour and texture. “Bronzers work beautifully on Indian skin tones. For those with dusky complexions, it can be used as a blush as well, so invest in this one,” advises Fernandes.

Save: Eyeliner


Cost-effective gel eyeliners work just as well as expensive ones. “Check that the shade is a deep black and not a washy grey and you will be fine. I personally have switched to Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner (Rs 450) as it defines the eyes like a dream,” says Pahuja.

Splurge: Eyeshadow

The colour, thanks to the high quality pigments will be richer. The product will cover your lids in the exact same hue as it sits in its case. “A high quality eye shadow has inbuilt moisturising properties that makes blending more effective. An eye primer is not needed as the colour won’t crease or wear off or dust up and fall on the cheeks,” says Fernandes. Try Dior Diorshow Mono Trianon Edition, Angelique.

Save: Lip primer

Fernandes and Pahuja both believe that a regular lip balm, like Forest Essentials Luscious Lip Balm Kokum Butter & Honey (Rs 595), has a similar effect to a lip primer. Unless your lips are pigmented or prone to feathering (as in mature women) you can easily do without this product.

Splurge: Lip pencil

“I am surprised how many women skip using it when a lip pencil shapes your lips and helps the lip colour stay longer. Don’t compromise on this as a high end formulation is moisturising and long lasting,” states Pahuja. “At times, cheaper lip pigments can oxidize on your lips, causing pigmentation. Invest in a lip pencil in the exact shade of your lips so that it works with almost any lip shade,” adds Fernandes. Vogue recommends NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (Rs 1,500).

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